Carl Crawford of the Los Angeles Dodgers safely slides in to score a run past the tag from catcher Miguel Montero of the Arizona Diamondbacks during the fourth inning of the MLB game at Chase Field on August 26, 2014 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Don Mattingly made the replay staff in New York earn their money Tuesday night.
The Dodger manager's decision to challenge two plays in the fourth inning, that were overturned in his favor, allowed his team to blow the game open en route to a 9-5 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The first came when A.J. Ellis singled to center with two runners on and one out. Carl Crawford ran through a stop sign at third on the hit and was called out at home on catcher Miguel Montero's tag. But, on replay, it was clear that although Montero tagged Crawford with his glove the ball was in his hand, which didn't touch Crawford until he touched the plate.
Mattingly shrewdly called for a challenge to Montero blocking the plate. The umpire review crew in New York overturned the play based on the missed tag. Either way, Crawford was ruled safe and the Dodgers took a 5-2 lead.
"He wasn't 100 percent if the guy was set up properly. So, to me, if I can get him to look at the play at the plate than they end up looking at everything and that's what ended up happening there," Mattingly told reporters after the game.
The second pivotal challenge came the very next batter. Robert Hernandez's sacrifice bunt ended up as a bang-bang play at first. Hernandez was called out. Mattingly quickly came out of the dugout to challenge that call. After a short review, Hernandez was ruled safe. The reversal also meant that Justin Turner's run counted, which put the Dodgers up, 6-2.
If those two plays stand as outs, at best the Dodgers only score two runs and the Diamondbacks escape the inning down a manageable margin at, 4-2.
Instead, the Dodgers ended up sending 11 men to the plate and scored six runs on five hits.
Hernandez (8-9) went six innings to pick up the win.
Diamondbacks starter Trevor Cahill (3-9) only lasted 3 1/3 innings and took the loss. He allowed six earned runs on six hits, including Matt Kemp's two-run home run in the first inning.
The Dodgers improved their road record to a Major League best 41-26.